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Davidson of Rome, City of Rome to install solar farms to help offset electricity costs

By SPENCER DAVIDSON

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - As one opportunity closes, another one opens in Rome.
 
The Old Rome West Drive-In Theater recently shut down permanently, yet the space once housing the entertainment center will now be used for renewable energy.
 
Rome Mayor Joseph Fusco and City of Rome Director of Economic Development Jake Dibari, have confirmed to NEWSChannel 2 that Davidson Auto group will use the space to install at 2,600 solar panel farm behind their dealership complex.
 
The installation of the new solar farm began a short time ago, and is expected to be finished within the next 30 days.
 
According to Dibari, the 2,600 panels will provide enough energy to power 75 homes in the area and will be used to help offset the cost of energy for the Davidson dealership itself.
 
The project is being partially funded by a robust incentive program put together by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo (for large scale systems), which will take care of 1/3 of the funds needed for the privately-owned farm to become a reality.
 
In addition, it was also announced that the City of Rome itself will be installing a 2.8 mega watt solar energy farm at the former Tannery Road Landfill, including 9,000 solar panels that will eventually produce 40% of the City's electricity.
 
This project will help to offset the costs of many of the municipal buildings in the City of Rome, including City Hall and JFK Arena.
 
There is currently no financial outlay for the City's program, as it is being installed through a power purchase agreement with the company that will install the system.
 
This company will also own and operate the farm, giving the City of Rome a warranty for the system. The City will purchase electricity from the company for 25 years.
 
The other 60% of the City's power will remain as a product of National Grid.
 
The implementation of this new solar energy is expected to save the City of Rome approximately $100,000 per year for general funds, and is expected to be completed in 2015.
 
Davidson of Rome will own and operate 100% of its solar farm. 
 
Davidson, which owns 8 dealerships around the area and in Watertown, already owns a 3,000 panel solar farm that is one of the largest privately-owned systems in New York State. 

 

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